FA chiefs are making plans to make the Cup final as special as ever – but face a dilemma over the trophy presentation.

Traditionally, the winning team – led by the captain – going up the Wembley steps to the Royal Box to lift the FA Cup is always one of the highlights of the day.

But it may have to be presented on the pitch because of strict Government protocols which are obviously in place at Wembley for the FA Cup final on Saturday, August 1.

Club executives and dignitaries were allowed to sit in the Royal Box for the semi finals but there was even an issue on that occasion because they could not use the lifts because of social distancing and had to go up by escalators instead.

They will now have to check whether players can use the famous Wembley steps or if presenting the pitch is the only way to ensure that the strict protocols are maintained.

The Football Association are doing brilliantly to organise one of the biggest and best dates in the English football calendar without fans and will decide on the final details trophy presentation next week.

Players love the pomp and ceremony of the occasion plus the tradition of the day but both clubs have been supportive of the FA’s plans and appreciative of the unique set of circumstances.

The Premier League did well with their elaborate trophy presentation at Anfield on Wednesday night while the FA are going to great lengths to get it right.

They did the most thorough mini health MOT at Wembley for the semi finals, taking temperatures, pulse, oxygen and respiratory rates of everyone attending.

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Pep Guardiola is on the war path at the moment and another little jibe has largely gone under the radar.

Manchester City boss Guardiola said he fully expects a Liverpool player to win the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award when it is announced on Friday morning.

“The winner will be from Liverpool, a Liverpool player. When we won the Premier League the Liverpool players won. When they win the League, I’m pretty sure they are going to win the Player of the Season. These awards are always for Liverpool,” Guardiola said in a post-match interview on BBC Radio Five Live this week.

Raheem Sterling won the FWA award last year but, incredibly, Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk won the Professional Footballers’ Association gong in 2018 and 2019 respectively when Manchester City won the title in each season.

Even though this column voted for Jordan Henderson this year, you do have to feel that Guardiola has a point… to continually overlook Kevin De Bruyne is criminal and to vote for a Liverpool player when City broke all the records in 2018 is just plain wrong.

Sterling’s haul this season – 19 Premier League goals and 29 overall – deserves more recognition that it has had. By the way, the PFA still have not confirmed a date when their awards are announced.

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Bristol City are stepping up their search for a new manager with Chris Hughton favourite to be installed.

However, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has not been approached for the vacancy, meaning he has not turned down anything.

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Former Arsenal youth academy Andries Jonker raised a few eyebrows at the Emirates this week by trying to claim credit for the development of some of the club’s new rising stars.

“Conceited and arrogant who did little to help those players,” was how one insider put it when talking about Jonker who said he helped some of the youngsters “eat, drink and sleep Arsenal.”

There were certainly few tears shed when Jonker did leave especially as claiming to help rebuild and restructure the training ground was a previous claim in a Dutch magazine interview.

Maybe ruffling feathers is a good thing but it probably does not help build lasting friendships.

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Marcelo Bielsa was such a fixture at Costa coffee in Wetherby that they even improved the wifi in the shop for him.

The Leeds boss is so popular that he has had to stop going there quite so much.

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Burnley rising star Dwight McNeil is attracting attention and the Premier League may get some tempting offers this summer if they decide they have to cash in.

Leicester is one club to keep an eye on as they could use some cash from getting into Europe as they have been checking on the 20-year-old.

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